Author Anis Fraiha reports that the name of the village is likely to be a compound name consisting of two elements, the first is a definite article and the second probably has Hebrew origins, designating ‘god’. Lassa thus means the village of god or a sanctuary of worship.
Lassa is located in Jbeil, 90 kilometers from Beirut, at an altitude of 1100 meters above the sea level. It extends across 745 hectares and can be reached via the Nahr Ibrahim- Qartaba- Afqa road.
The registered population is estimated at 4500 in the personal status records of Lassa, almost all of whom are Shia’a Muslims with the Maronites constituting a 6% minority. Lassa has 300 houses but most of its residents live outside the village.
In 2000, registered voters numbered 2248, of whom 1300 cast their votes. This number increased to 2759 in 2009 with 1909 exercising their right to vote. In 2013, the registered voting population stood at 3000.
Voters are distributed over the following families:
- Meqdad: 1956 voters accounting for 65% of the total voting population
- Eitawi: 283
- Seifeddine: 240
- Zeineddine: 180
- Hamoud: 18
- Melhem: 15
- Jaber: 15
- Oubeid: 140
- Awad: 52
- Al-Khoury: 10
- Al-Chami: 16
- Mansour: 6
The public school in Lassa has closed due to a shortage of students and the village currently has no educational institutions.
Lassa’s 15-member municipal council was established pursuant to Decision No. 253 dated March 12, 1964, which stipulated the formation of a single municipality for the two villages of Lassa and Al-Ghouaiby. The two were later separated and Al-Ghouaiby was assigned an independent municipal council.
The share of Lassa’s municipality of the Independent Municipal Fund revenues stood in 2008 at LBP 164.5 million. It rose to LBP 219.1 million and further to LBP 255.5 million in 2009 and 2010 respectively. In 2011, the council was allocated LBP 228.3 million.
Agriculture, self-employment and quarrying are all sources of income that sustain Lassa’s families.
The Maronite patriarchate of Jounieh claims that the residents of Lassa are trespassing on the property boundaries of the patriarchate. The claim has triggered a persistent dispute in the village, further exacerbated by the fact that Lassa’s residents are predominantly Shia’a. A land identification committee has emerged recently to resolve the dispute and survey the contested areas.